Science in Court: The UK Criminal Justice System IT Programme Is a 2bn [Pounds Sterling] Investment in Case Management Systems and the Infrastructure That Connects Them. Its Leader, Stephen Jenner, Explains His Two-Pronged Approach to Project Management, Which the Cabinet Office Recently Cited as Best Practice

By Jenner, Stephen | Financial Management (UK), November 2006 | Go to article overview

Science in Court: The UK Criminal Justice System IT Programme Is a 2bn [Pounds Sterling] Investment in Case Management Systems and the Infrastructure That Connects Them. Its Leader, Stephen Jenner, Explains His Two-Pronged Approach to Project Management, Which the Cabinet Office Recently Cited as Best Practice


Jenner, Stephen, Financial Management (UK)


Organisations invest in IT projects in order to save costs, increase revenues, improve performance or achieve regulatory compliance, yet all too often they fail to deliver such benefits. The UK parliamentary committee of public accounts concluded in 1999 that "for more than two decades, implementing IT systems successfully has proved difficult ... has resulted in delay, confusion and inconvenience to the citizen and, in many cases, poor value for money to the taxpayer."

Research indicates that the situation has not improved significantly since then and that the problem is not restricted to UK organisations. For example, KPMG's 2005 global IT project management survey report concluded that the success of projects seemed to "equate to achieving an acceptable level of failure or minimising lost benefits".

There's a growing recognition that this problem can be solved with an approach that combines portfolio management techniques with more effective methods of benefits realisation that embed responsibility within the business, rather than the project. The approach developed by my organisation, Criminal Justice Information Technology (CJIT), to manage the UK criminal justice system IT portfolio has drawn extensively from best practice both nationally and abroad. Its key aspects can be applied to major investments beyond our particular field.

It's crucial that projects are appraised on a level playing field against agreed criteria. A first step, therefore, is to agree investment principles against which all funding bids can be appraised. Our investment principles include the following:

* Projects should not be started if their achievability and attractiveness ratings do not meet minimum levels derived from empirical research and the required minimum economic rates of return. The principles of achievability and attractiveness reflect an application of the concepts of risk and return that underpin portfolio theory. A project's attractiveness refers to the contribution it will make to strategic objectives; its net present value; and the quality of the benefits. Its achievability refers to the degree of innovation and complexity involved; whether there's enough capacity to deliver it; the adequacy of risk assessment and contingency planning; and the level of stakeholder commitment.

* Claimed benefits need to be validated with the recipients.

* The continuation of funding depends on the project's performance in realising the planned benefits and meeting its schedule, which is monitored regularly.

Empirical studies by HM Treasury suggest that there is a "demonstrated, systemic tendency for project appraisers to be overly optimistic. This is a worldwide phenomenon that affects both the private and public sectors. Appraisers tend to overstate benefits and underestimate timings and costs."

It's essential, therefore, that such claims are scrutinised. CJIT has set up an independent internal portfolio unit to evaluate business cases for projects against the investment principles. This process uses an appraisal tool called the Proving Model. The model emerged from a two-year study by Cranfield University into the causes of project failure, which concluded that on most occasions crucial flaws were obvious before the projects were authorised--ie, that failing projects tend not to have brilliant business cases. The result of this investment appraisal is a short report. This ensures that, rather than having to wade through 100-page business cases, governance bodies instead receive a summary of the salient facts--eg, the project's cost, its claimed benefits, its contribution to strategic priorities and the degree of confidence in the forecast costs and benefits.

Investment appraisals must evaluate not only projects' NPVs, attractiveness and achievability, but also their affordability--ie, projects' relative rankings must be considered in the context of available funding.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Science in Court: The UK Criminal Justice System IT Programme Is a 2bn [Pounds Sterling] Investment in Case Management Systems and the Infrastructure That Connects Them. Its Leader, Stephen Jenner, Explains His Two-Pronged Approach to Project Management, Which the Cabinet Office Recently Cited as Best Practice
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.